What is Coping?
We’ve all heard of coping, but what is it, exactly?
Coping is the use of conscious or unconscious strategies to reduce unpleasant emotions.
It’s also defined as “dealing successfully with problems or difficult situations.”
So you can see why it’s a crucial life skill!
How Do We Use Coping to Get Through Life?
We all cope throughout our lives, even when we don’t realize it.
Have you ever had a bad day and used food, alcohol, drugs, or something else to make you feel better? That is coping. Not all coping methods are healthy!
It’s anything we do that helps us to manage our emotions or get through a rough patch in life.
Coping is more than just “dealing with it,” though.
There are actually tried-and-true (healthy!) coping methods that can help us to manage our mental health as we experience difficult life situations.
Types of Coping Skills
There are many theories on coping and several types of coping skills, but most skills can be broken down into two categories: emotion-focused coping skills and problem-focused coping skills.
Emotion-focused coping involves “regulating your feelings and emotional response to the problem instead of actually addressing the problem.”
This means regulating painful or unwanted emotions. While you’re not solving the specific life problem you’re facing, you’re working through your feelings, trying to understand yourself and your triggers better, and figuring out how to handle big emotions.
Emotion-focused coping activities include meditation, journaling, talk therapy, and positive thinking.
Problem-focused coping is when you face the problem head-on, taking action to resolve the problem and the stress it’s causing in your life.
Both types of coping can be helpful in certain situations, but emotion-focused coping will help you more in the long run.
Resolving the problem you’re facing now will of course alleviate the stress and anxiety you’re feeling, but learning to manage your emotions will ensure that you’re prepared for future situations.
We Can Help
Life is often difficult and there’s no avoiding stress, sadness and other unpleasant feelings, but healthy coping habits can greatly improve your mental health and quality of life.
If you need some help coping with difficult feelings, we are here to help.
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